Construction begins on Teddy Roosevelt library

The controversial project broke ground in Medora this summer and is still on track for a July 4, 2026, opening. The Associated Press (AP) reported late last month that workers began moving dirt at the site back on June 15. The first concrete was poured last month.

The Medora location sits on 93 acres that were formerly U.S. Forest Service property.

Construction of the building to house the library and museum is expected to commence next spring. It’s expected to open in time for America’s semiquincentennial celebration. (It’s a real word, look it up.) KUMV-TV reports that the building will also house a 300-seat auditorium for public events.

We’ve been tracking the progress of the project, with controversies over its site, and its state funding.

The project is expected to cost $180 million. Oilman Harold Hamm has donated $50 million. Governor Doug Burgum and his wife have contributed more than $1 million, according to the AP. The project has not yet needed to dip into the state-provided $70 million line of credit. The Roosevelt family supplied some of the earliest funding and holds three seats on the Library’s board.

According to the Foundation’s most recent tax return (year-end 2022), the Library holds net assets of $116 million. CEO Edward O’Keefe earns an annual salary of $650,000.

Construction is expected to continue throughout the winter months.